Refurbishment and Fit Out / International / 2015 /
02 - Health and Wellbeing
Information correct as of 18thOctober 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.
2020 and 2050 weather files - KBCN0842
The weather files with reference to the 2020s will cover the 30 year climatic period around that decade, i.e. 2010 to 2040, with the 2020s being the middle of the three decades (10's/20's/30's). Therefore any projects that will be completed before 2025 should use the 2020 weather files for mechanical ventilation and the 2050 weather files for natural ventilation.
Absence of regulated/prohibited wood preservatives - KBCN0740
Preservatives (pentachlorophenol or PCP which is a “regulated/prohibited substance”) must be absent. This is defined when verified by testing that the concentration is less than 5ppm, in which instance the chemical is regarded as ‘absent’.
Acoustic performance standards - KBCN0922
For the Acoustic performance standards credits it is possible to use either:
- the building regulation requirements or other appropriate good practice local standards
- the good practice criteria outlined in the BREEAM manual.
If assessors want to use standards that have not been approved yet, they should submit these to BRE along with all relevant documents detailed in the standards approval process. The extent and scope of these local standards and the SQAs justification statement will be checked by BRE acoustic experts to ensure that the overall effect is similar to the stated BREEAM requirements.
AgBB – earlier versions of the standard - KBCN0655
Guidance Note GN22 lists the standard AgBB (2015) as a recognised scheme for emissions from building products for pre-December 2015 launched BREEAM schemes.
Previous versions of the AgBB scheme are not listed as recognised schemes because earlier versions of AgBB did not include any requirement for the testing of Formaldehyde.
If an earlier version AgBB has been used, further evidence will be required to provide additional information on the required Formaldehyde testing.
Air-conditioned spaces - KBCN00035
Air-conditioned spaces are assessed to ensure appropriate thermal comfort levels are achieved. Cooling capacity should be sufficient to comply with the requirements of CIBSE Guide A, however providing sufficient space to install additional capacity to meet the requirements at a later date in line with projected climate change scenarios is also acceptable.
In addition, if it can be demonstrated that the air-conditioning system can achieve the thermal comfort criteria in accordance with CIBSE Guide A, Table 1.5, thermal modelling does not need to be carried out. The “time out of range” (TOR) metric should be reported as 0%.
Alternative weather files - KBCN1182
Different or newer weather files can be used instead of those referenced in the manual, as long as they achieve the aim of the credit. Weather files based on climate projections with higher temperatures than those specified in the relevant criteria, set a more robust standard for overheating and so they are acceptable. The alternative weather files need to include same variables as the specified weather files e.g. dry bulb & wet bulb temperature, wind speed & direction, solar altitude & azimuth, cloud cover etc. for each hour of the year. It is the role of the assessor or design team to verify this and ensure that meeting the BREEAM criteria does not become easier by using the alternative weather file.
Applying internal partition sound insulation criteria to internal doors - KBCN0665
Where sound insulation criteria apply to internal partitions the calculations do need to include any doors which are part of the wall in question.
While sound insulation performance of a typical door will be lower than for a typical wall, with careful design, specification and detailing, this can be overcome.
Applying the requirements to Shell & Core assessments - KBCN00075
A Suitably Qualified Acoustician (SQA) must carry out a quantifiable assessment of the specification of the built form, construction and any external factors that are likely to affect the indoor ambient noise levels. From this assessment, the SQA must confirm that the developer’s scope of works will enable a future tenant utilising a typical fit-out and specification to meet the levels required to demonstrate compliance with the BREEAM criteria.
Where the specific room functions and areas within the building are yet to be defined, the acoustician’s assessment should demonstrate that the criteria for the most sensitive room type likely to be present in the building is capable of being achieved. Where the typical fit out would include a range of requirements (e.g. offices with a mix of open plan, cellular offices, meeting rooms and breakout areas; or retail with sales floor, stock/storage, office and staff rest areas), the acoustician should make an assessment based on a speculative layout and outline specification to determine whether the requirements of the relevant best practice standard are achievable and include examples of the most sensitive room types.
Where the majority of a building’s floor plan will require high performance acoustic environments (e.g. classroom/seminar buildings), then the BREEAM requirements must be achieved for the entire shell where specific layouts are not determined by the built form.
Post-construction testing is not required subject to confirmation from the project team that the built form, construction and any external factors have not changed from those used in the SQA's assessment.
09/08/2019 Confirmed applicability to UK NC 2018
08/12/2017 Clarification added regarding post-construction evidence.
Approach to thermal model when using BMS - KBCN0169
Where there are smart systems such as BMS in place, modelling must consider normal operating conditions, with the heating and cooling system in operation regardless of the control strategy.
In order for the design team to size the heating/cooling plant, they will carry out modelling to calculate the heat/cold loss throughout the year. Results of these calculations must be submitted, with the heating/cooling plant specification which would demonstrate that the building has been designed to ensure internal winter/summer temperatures will not drop below an acceptable level, and that in effect the winter TOR is zero.
Appropriate project stage to appoint a suitably qualified acoustician - KBCN0256
BREEAM requires that a suitably qualified acoustician is appointed at an appropriate stage of the project, so as to ensure that early design advice on criteria of pre-requisition is met. The aim is to ensure that costly amendments to building designs are not made as a result of late appointment of the acoustician. Ultimately, it is for the assessor to determine at what stage of the project is deemed to be appropriate for this appointment to have taken place given the project specific circumstances and procurement type.
Areas assessed for formaldehyde and TVOC - KBCN1008
This KBCN is no longer applicable. Please refer to KBCN0871 for scope of 'Emission levels (products)' and 'Other information' section of the technical manual for scope of 'Emission levels (post-construction)'.
Products applied or installed in parts of the building likely to affect the indoor air quality and impact the wellbeing of building users need to be assessed. Areas are not excluded on the basis of how long building users are present in those areas.
27/02/2018 - KBCN N/A due to ambiguity of applicability to criteria
Assessing industrial spaces – exemptions - KBCN0734
The thermal comfort criteria are not applicable to the operational or storage areas typically found in industrial buildings. The criteria should still be applied to the other parts of the building as appropriate.
Operational and storage areas often have function related thermal requirements determined by the needs of the operation or the items being stored. These functional requirements supercede the needs of the occupants.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in the next re-issue
CN1 – Part 1: Fabric and structure - KBCN0854
CN1 is applicable to more projects than simply Part 1 only assessments (as stated in the Technical Manual). It states where a Part 1 only assessment cannot demonstrate full compliance with the criteria defined in the relevant tables, 1 credit is available (unless multi-residential) where an SQA completes the tasks listed within CN1.
Instead of being relevant to Part 1 assessments only, this text is actually relevant to any assessments which include Part 1, and do not include Part 4.
This covers the following combinations of Parts:
- Part 1 only assessments;
- Part 1 and Part 2 assessments;
- Part 1 and Part 3 assessments;
- Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 assessments.
In relation to projects which are not multi-residential, one credit is available where the project demonstrates compliance through CN1 for 'indoor ambient noise and sound insulation', and one credit available where the project demonstrates compliance through CN1 for 'reverberation times'.
Compliant test body – alternative compliance route using a Suitably Qualified Acoustician - KBCN1412
Where acoustic testing and measurement has not been performed by an organisation or individual that meets the definition of a compliant test body, compliance with this requirement can still be demonstrated where a Suitably Qualified Acoustician has reviewed the relevant test report(s).
The test report must:
a) Be countersigned or authorised by a Suitably Qualified Acoustician
b) Include a clear statement that the acoustic testing and measurements have been carried out in accordance with the BREEAM or HQM testing requirements
c) Include evidence that the verifier meets the definition for a Suitably Qualified Acoustician within the relevant BREEAM or HQM technical manual
Daylighting – speculative building - KBCN0269
Where the building is speculative and therefore the final layout is not defined (e.g. only an open plan shell is provided in each tenanted space), the required percentage of each open plan shell should meet the daylighting requirements. However, where it is possible to designate separable ancillary areas that would be required in the space (such as toilets or server room), these can be excluded from the calculation.
For daylight calculations in speculative projects where the layout and colours are unknown, a realistic notional layout may be used.
Daylighting – ‘Internal association or atrium areas’ - KBCN1267
This term refers to areas intended to replace outdoor recreation spaces, typically found in prisons, but which may also be present in hospitals and residential accommodation for elderly people.
The requirements relating to such spaces are, therefore, not generally applicable to other building types.
Daylighting – calculation procedures - KBCN1339
For all spaces in the building where daylight provision is relevant (these are defined in the defintions for the relevant building areas), calculate the area weighted percentage improvement in daylight (Σ Ai
) / (Σ Ai
). Here Ai
is the floor area of space i and Pi
is the percentage increase in daylight in it. The Σ operator means to sum over all the relevant spaces.
In order to demonstrate compliance with criteria 4 and 5 for an improvement in existing daylighting, for each space, the percentage increase in daylight (Pi) is calculated in one of the following ways:
Where only the window area or glass transmission will increase:
- If window area has increased but all other aspects remain the same, Pi = ((increase in glass area)/(original glass area)) x100%.
- If glass transmission has increased but all other aspects remain the same, Pi = ((increase in glass transmission)/(original glass transmission)) x100%.
Where many aspects will change (e.g. room size, a combination of reflectance and window size etc.):
- Calculate the average daylight factor (ADF) in the space ‘before’ and ‘after’. Pi =( (ADF after – ADF before)/ ADF before) x100%.
- Calculate the average illuminance in the space that is exceeded for 2000 hours per year. Pi =( (Average illuminance after – Average illuminance before)/ Average illuminance before) x100%.
This will be amended in the next version of the manual.
Daylighting – Changing rooms - KBCN1132
The daylighting criteria are not applicable to changing rooms.
Daylighting – communal kitchens (multi-residential) - KBCN0217
Communal kitchens should be assessed under 'Non-residential / Communal Occupied Spaces.
Communal kitchens outside of self-contained dwelling units, for example a kitchen within a self-contained student flat shared between several students would be classed as a private kitchen for the purposes of this issue. However, if it was shared between rooms along a communal corridor it would be considered a communal kitchen, and assessed under 'Non-residential buildings - occupied spaces'.
Daylighting – Floor areas for average daylight calculations - KBCN0471
Where the room size is comparable and the function is the same, such as ‘kitchen’, the percentage rule needs to be applied to the total floor area. As the average daylight factor is a measure of daylight across the whole room, only whole rooms can be compliant. This is why we refer to rounding up the '80% of the floor area' requirement to the rounded up number of compliant rooms.
This rule applies to rooms of a similar size and function and compliance note ‘percentage of assessed area’ includes a simple example, where all the rooms are the same size. However, this rule can still be applied to rooms of different sizes.
Spaces whose size is substantially larger should meet the average daylight factor requirement on their own. In these cases, the percentage requirement is still applicable to the floor area of the remaining rooms.
Where a building contains different area types, the 80% minimum floor area must be calculated by each separate area type. For example, a multi-residential building that contained kitchen areas and living room areas would need both of these areas to comply with the 80% minimum floor area requirement separately.
Daylighting – requirements differing by area - KBCN0176
Where areas within a building have different daylighting requirements for the same credit, all relevant areas must meet the requirements to award the daylighting credit(s).
The aim is to improve daylight conditions in all applicable area types of an assessed building.
Daylighting – retail cafe / dining areas - KBCN0968
Customer seating/dining areas in a cafe or restaurant should be considered as 'sales areas'. Sales counters, staff areas or food preparation areas, for example, should be assessed as 'Other occupied areas' in accordance with the definition of 'Occupied space'..
The requirements for 'Sales areas' are applied to transient spaces.
Daylighting – studio flats - KBCN0866
In the case of studio flats, where there are no separating walls between occupied spaces, the minimum area of compliance for the average daylight factor requirement is based on the combined area of kitchen, living room, bed and study area. The required daylight factor for the open-plan space (subject to percentage requirement) should be based on the highest daylight factor required for any of the spaces.
It is impractical to separate the open-plan space and assess the daylight according to notional lines. In order to maintain robustness, the highest daylight factor should be applied throughout.
Daylighting – uniformity ratio applicability - KBCN0584
The uniformity ratio requirements apply to the percentage of the building’s relevant areas specified in the table. In the NC 2013 scheme, this is 80%.
Daylighting uniformity criteria – Multi-residential/Residential institutions - KBCN1129
The view of sky criteria (Table 11 (b)) are applicable to Multi-residential/Residential institutions where the room depth criterion (Table 11 (c)) is used.
Other requirements for Multi-residential/Residential institutions in the Daylighting table should read 'Either (a) OR [(b) and (c)]'
Removed applicability to 2018 as this has been corrected in the latest version of the manual
Definition of concourse - KBCN0386
A concourse is an open area within or in front of a public building which is used primarily for circulation, short term waiting, or incidental interaction, analogous to the concourse of a train station. It should not be considered occupied space.
Exemplary level criteria – formaldehyde requirements applicability - KBCN1124
The exemplary level criteria for formaldehyde emission levels are not applicable to the following product types:
A paints and varnishes
G flooring adhesives
H wall coverings
Formaldehyde emission levels should be assessed on all other product types. This applies also to any approved alternative VOC schemes for these product types listed in GN22.
External lighting – architectural façade lighting - KBCN0650
Architectural facade (or other decorative) lighting which does not provide users with lighting to perform tasks outdoors does not need to be included in the assessment of external lighting.
This Issue seeks to ensure that lighting levels are appropriate for tasks which building users will be undertaking outdoors.
External lighting – High frequency ballasts - KBCN0278
The requirement for all fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps to be fitted with high frequency ballasts does not apply to external lighting.
Fabric specified for wall coverings - KBCN0724
For assessment of Volatile Organic Compound emissions levels (products), any fabric specified as part of a wall covering should be assessed as part of the wall covering. It should not be assessed as part of the 'resilient textile and laminated floor coverings'.
Formaldehyde / VOC levels exceed prescribed limits - KBCN0258
If the measured formaldehyde / VOC concentrations were above the prescribed limits, the appropriate remedial action must be taken, as described in the IAQ Plan. The criterion requires confirmation of 'the measures that have or will be undertaken' however it does not specifically address re-testing. We would expect, however that the IAQ Plan should outline what remedial measures are appropriate depending upon the severity and type of the non-compliance with prescribed limits. Such measures may include re-testing as a matter of 'best practice'.
Where levels are found to exceed these limits, the project team confirms the measures that have, or will be undertaken in accordance with the IAQ plan, to reduce the TVOC and formaldehyde levels to within the above limits.
Glare control – adjacent buildings - KBCN1211
It is acceptable to account for surrounding buildings, structures or other permanent environmental features when using simulation modelling to assess the risk of glare, provided this accounts for both direct sunlight and reflected glare from glazing or reflective surfaces.
Glare control – blackout blinds - KBCN0447
Blackout blinds can be used to meet the glare control requirements.
Where the criteria set an upper limit for transmittance value, but no lower limit, blackout blinds will meet this requirement.
Glare Control – no relevant areas - KBCN0429
If the scope of the assessment does not include any relevant building areas, as defined within the manual, the criteria for Glare Control can be considered as met by default.
Only spaces that fall within the definition of relevant areas and are within the assessment's scope need to be assessed.
22/06/17 Wording clarified
16/06/17 KBCN amended to exclude content of KBCN0146.
Glare control – no windows in relevant areas - KBCN0146
Where a ‘relevant area’ as defined in the manual does not include any windows, the glare control criteria can considered as met for this area.
Note that the view out and daylight criteria would not be achieved in rooms with no windows.
Where there are no windows in a room there would be no potential for disabling glare, so the aim of the credit would be achieved.
Glare control – residential institution and multi-residential bedrooms - KBCN0666
Assuming that occupants are generally elsewhere during daylight hours, lighting and resultant glare are not considered to be problematic for bedrooms in residential institution and multi-residential assessments.
The only exception to this is where designated additional office working space is provided. In these circumstances it is the role of the assessor to determine if individual spaces should be determined as 'relevant building areas' in accordance with guidance provided.
Glare control criteria apply to building areas where lighting and resultant glare could be problematic for users.
Glare control – transmittance value - KBCN0709
Transmittance values should be based on those quoted for 'visible light'.
Glare control – use of tinted windows - KBCN0862
Solar control or 'tinted' glazing could potentially support the attainment of this requirement. However, the assessor must be satisfied and provide evidence to demonstrate that the particular glazing type, when used on the assessed building for a given location, is meeting this overarching aim of preventing disabling glare. It should be noted that whilst certain types of glazing, such as low emissivity glazing, may be slightly tinted, they may not necessarily be effective in reducing disabling glare.
For facades receiving direct sunlight, tinted windows alone are unlikely to be sufficient in the majority of situations.
Glare control for roof lights - KBCN0319
Where roof lights are present, they must be considered when demonstrating that the glare control strategy provides adequate control/measures for minimising glare in that space.
All sources of glare need to be considered when designing out the potential for disabling glare.
Glare control in Part 1 assessments - KBCN0100
Although the current technical manual indicates that forms of glare control are applicable to Part1 assessments, this has been reviewed and the BREEAM Projects template now allows the credit to be filtered out for such projects.
This is in line with the NC 2014 scheme and takes account of 'occupant controlled devices' not being within scope.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next re-issue.
Glare control in residential areas - KBCN00040
Glare control criteria apply to building areas such as study bedrooms or facility management offices, where work or study will be carried out and where glare would hinder such activities. It does not apply to other residential areas.
GN22 – Scheme version applicability - KBCN0646
Table 1 is for the use of any version of a scheme where the first version was released pre-December 2015, and table 2 is for the use of any version of a scheme where the first version was released post-November 2015.
GN22 Recognised schemes for emissions from building product - KBCN0719
Within the Health and Wellbeing category of a number of BREEAM schemes, credits are awarded for specifying materials that minimise emissions from building products, e.g. formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These criteria involve meeting emission level performance requirements in accordance with compliant performance and testing standards. Similar criteria have been included in the Home Quality Mark (HQM) scheme. The purpose of this Guidance Note is to publish a list of schemes that show equivalent or better performance than the current BREEAM and HQM criteria, and therefore can be used to demonstrate compliance with the criteria. This note should be read in conjunction with the relevant assessment issue guidance provided in the appropriate BREEAM scheme or HQM technical manual.
View full Guidance Note
(licensed assessors only)
View all Guidance Notes
(licensed assessors only)
12/03/2018 Link to Guidance Note updated
25/01/2019 Link to Guidance Note updated
Hazards – Applicability of the issue - KBCN0541
The applicability of issue Hea 07 Hazard is related to the risk of natural hazards in the country, or region, in which the project is situated. This is reflected in the environmental weightings.
The approach to this issue changes according to the country and to the scheme.
BREEAM International New Construction 2013 and BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit Out 2015
This issue should not be taken into consideration for countries which have a weighting for this issue equal or lower than 1%. The suggested threshold to start considering this credit is more than 1%.
Where no risks are identified in the risk assessment report, this issue will not be applicable, even if the related weighting has a value higher than 1%. Thus before undertaking a risk assessment, it is recommended to investigate if the area might be subject to the natural hazards listed in the technical manual.
BREEAM International New Construction 2016
Countries with no or very low risk, have a weighting of 0% for this issue. Thus, according to the BREEAM scoring and rating system, this issue should not be considered. The suggested threshold to start considering this credit is more than 0%.
Where no risks are identified in the risk assessment report, this issue will not be applicable, even if the related weighting has a value higher than 0%. Thus before undertaking a risk assessment, it is recommended to investigate if the area might be subject to the natural hazards listed in the technical manual.
Hotels and Residential institutions – Short term stay - KBCN0652
For projects registered as 'Hotels and other residential accommodation - short term' two credits can be achieved under this issue:
- One credit - indoor ambient noise and sound insulation, criteria 2 to 5
- One credit - reverberation times, criterion 6
Criteria 7 to 9 are relevant only for multi-residential projects, classified as 'Residential accommodation - Long term stay'.
The pre-requisite is still required in order to achieve the credit for any project type.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next reissue.
Incomplete criteria – VOC emission levels - KBCN0442
The technical manual is missing the following requirement for the VOC emission levels for the product categories, which should follow the wording in criterion 8:
"At least five of the seven remaining product categories listed in Table 'VOC criteria by product type' meet the testing requirements and emission levels criteria for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions (listed in the table)."
To be amended in the technical manual re-issue.
Indoor air quality plan - KBCN0294
The Indoor Air Quality Plan does not have prescriptive criteria as it is recognised that each building will have differing conditions/user requirements. There is flexibility for the design team to use their professional judgement to determine what is appropriate to meet the criterion, subject to the plan addressing the relevant items as listed within the Technical Manual.
Industrial buildings – operational areas - KBCN1342
The aim of this issue is to encourage a healthy internal environment. For the operational areas of industrial buildings, the internal environment is dictated by health and safety requirements. This means that the BREEAM requirements should not be made applicable to them, and so the operational areas can be ignored in the assessment of Hea 02.
Internal lighting levels where computer screens are used - KBCN0283
For areas where computer screens are regularly used projects can specify 300 lux, as referenced in CIBSE Lighting Guide 7, rather than the levels prescribed in the standard EN 12464:2011.
International suitably qualified professionals - KBCN1266
In some issues the International NC and RFO schemes prescribe specific requirements for suitably qualified professionals. We appreciate that some countries might have different recognition schemes in place, and these might differ from the BREEAM requirements. Where this is the case, assessors should submit a technical query with appropriate information, and we will review and approve each situation on a country basis.
Natural ventilation – use of CIBSE TM52 - KBCN0935
For a naturally ventilated building, it is acceptable for the thermal comfort limits and calculation methodology in CIBSE TM52: The Limits of Thermal Comfort: Avoiding Overheating in European Buildings to be used in place of ISO 7730:2005.
BREEAM recognises that adaptive comfort models can provide more appropriate thermal comfort limits for naturally ventilated buildings.
Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery Units - KBCN1126
Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery Units (NVHR) systems can be used to support a natural ventilation strategy where it can be demonstrated that openable windows provide sufficient fresh air to the building for the significant majority of the time that the space is occupied.
The assessor will need to use their professional judgement to determine a 'significant majority of time' and be able to justify this within the assessment report.
Occupant control – BMS and degree of control - KBCN0175
A Building Management System controlled set point with local override controls limited to a set range would satisfy the occupant control requirement so long as the temperature range available to building users is confirmed as appropriate for the building type and user profile.
Occupant control – spaces requiring user controls - KBCN0170
The following guidance is intended to clarify the types of area for which user controls are required or would be considered beneficial. Please refer to the specific requirements of the applicable BREEAM Scheme to interpret this guidance appropriately.
User controls which allow independent adjustment of heating/cooling systems within the building are
required/considered beneficial in the following areas:
- Owned spaces: small rooms for one or two people, e.g. cellular offices
- Shared spaces: multi-occupied areas, e.g. open-plan offices, workshops.
- Temporarily owned spaces: where occupants expect to operate the heating/ cooling controls while they are there, e.g. meeting rooms, hotel bedrooms.
User controls which allow independent adjustment of heating/cooling systems within the building are not
required in the following areas:
- Occasionally visited spaces: e.g. storerooms, bookstacks in libraries, aisles of warehouses, toilets.
- Unowned spaces: where areas are expected to be heated but the controls are not operated by the occupants, e.g. circulation areas.
- Managed spaces: where someone is in charge of the heating/ cooling, but the controls are not operated by individual occupants, e.g. atria, concourses, entrance halls, function halls, restaurants, libraries, and shops.
Please note that zoning is required in all areas of the building where specified in the assessment criteria for this issue.
User controls are required/considered beneficial in spaces which are owned, shared or temporarily owned by individual building occupants. User controls are not required in occasionally visited spaces or spaces where individual occupants are not expected to have control over the thermal conditions.
Off-site manufactured installations – internal finishes - KBCN0137
Internal finishes in off-site manufactured installations such as lifts need to be assessed for the VOC criteria.
The specification of internal finishes (regardless of whether they are installed on site or in the factory) will impact on VOC emissions. By specifying low VOC finishes, design teams will be encouraging manufacturers to consider the environmental impacts of their products.
Paints for specialist applications - KBCN0872
Where a paint or coating does not fall within one of the categories in Annex II of the EU Directive 2004/42/CE or the categories in the relevant tables of the technical manuals (for schemes where the Directive is not applicable), then the paint or coating does not need to be assessed.
16/06/2017 KBCN extracted from existing KBCN0212.
13/03/2020 KBCN amended to clarify exceptions and applicability
Part 2 Assessments & Thermal Zoning - KBCN0460
Some criteria related to thermal zoning and controls may not be applicable to Part 2 assessments.
These should however, be addressed as far as possible within the work to the core services and associated infrastructure, given the scope of works. Where compliance with any requirement is not possible, this should be justified by the design team in the evidence for this Issue.
10/02/2017 - This replaces the previous CN which stated, incorrectly, that the criteria relating to thermal zoning do not apply to Part 2 assessments. This approach now aligns with the BREEAM manual and the scoring & reporting tool.
Performance requirements to be met by finished product - KBCN0212
Decorative paints and varnishes that occupants are exposed to should be assessed. This is likely to include paints applied to walls, ceilings, floors, doors, etc.
It should be noted where finishes are applied to the product within the factory, these would be assessed as part of the whole product rather than as decorative paints and varnishes. The product as a whole must meet the requirements, for example if a wood panel has a finish applied to it in the factory, the whole product, i.e. all elements that make up that product, including the finish, would need comply with the requirements set for wood panel products in the issue.
The finished product as a whole must meet the performance requirements/emission limits stipulated in the relevant BREEAM technical manual.
16/06/2017 Title and general principle amended to extend the applicability of the KBCN to all finishes. Paints specified for specialist applications covered in KBCN0872.
PMV and PPD reporting for mixed mode ventilation buildings - KBCN0632
When assessing buildings where both naturally ventilated and air conditioned spaces are included, reporting the PMV and PPD indices is required.
Potential for natural ventilation – areas exempted - KBCN0806
For projects where the majority of a building's occupied spaces will meet the criteria to achieve the potential for natural ventilation credit, but a relatively small area will not comply due to functional requirements of the space, (e.g. a lecture theatre), the credit can be awarded where this approach can be justified.
The intention is to encourage the design of buildings where a strategy of (potential for) natural ventilation has been implemented as far as practically possible, given functional constraints.
Potential for natural ventilation – shell only assessments - KBCN0408
Where compliance depends on a speculative layout which is unknown, it is the responsibility of the design team to demonstrate that it is feasible for a future tenant to achieve compliance in the relevant areas via the use of a notional layout.
This ensures that the shell allows the potential for compliance, and if this can be demonstrated the credit may be awarded.
Potential for natural ventilation – use of doors to comply - KBCN0690
External doors cannot generally be considered for the natural ventilation strategy, due to issues of controllability of ventilation.
However, where the assessor believes and can robustly justify that the requirement for 'levels of ventilation’, referenced below, are met and that the use of the door for natural ventilation purposes would not create accessibility and/or security issues in the day-to-day use of the building, this may be acceptable.
The two levels of ventilation must be able to achieve the following:
• Higher level: higher rates of ventilation achievable to remove short term odours and/or prevent summertime overheating
• Lower level: adequate levels of draught-free fresh air to meet the need for good indoor air quality throughout the year, sufficient for the occupancy load and the internal pollution loads of the space.
Products tested to BS EN ISO 12460-5 standard - KBCN0118
Products tested to the BS EN ISO 12460-5 standard can be used to demonstrate compliance for the BREEAM VOC criteria, but only for wood panels and suspended ceiling tiles made from unfaced particle board, unfaced OSB or unfaced MDF.
In such cases, factory production control testing must demonstrate that the product has a formaldehyde content of ≤ 8mg/100g oven dry board.
01/12/2017 Previously referenced standard EN 120 superceded by BS EN ISO 12460-5 Wood-based panels. Determination of formaldehyde release. Extraction method.
Projected climate change weather file - KBCN0117
Although other scenarios are available, for the thermal simulation of climate change environments, the 50th percentile weather file should be used for consistency with other assessments.
Remedial works – timing of acoustic re-testing - KBCN1164
The intent of CN "Remedial works" is that, where these are required, re-testing is carried out prior to handover and occupation.
However, it is permissible to carry out the re-testing post-occupation. This is provided any specific guidance for particular building types related test conditions have been met (for instance, it may be that some building specific guidance requires furniture or carpets to not be present during the testing).
Compliance cannot be achieved based on a letter from the SQA confirming that the contractor has followed their advice to achieve the required performance.
07.11.18 KBCN amended to allow for re-testing to be carried-out post-handover.
Reporting PPD and PMV Figures - KBCN0867
The individual carrying out the modelling should be able to provide values for both the PMV and PPD for the building.
The PMV and PPD values need to be reported, in the scoring & reporting tool, for data recording purposes.
The values to report are the observed range of values for PMV and PPD across all occupied areas across all the hours when these are expected to be occupied (enter the minimum and maximum for each i.e. PMV = 0.2 - 0.5, PPD = 10 - 15%).
However, if compliance with the thermal comfort criteria is demonstrated without using a full dynamic thermal analysis software package and via a less complex system, which does not generate the required PMV/PPD metrics, these do not have to be provided.
Retail with no office areas - KBCN0531
The compliance note regarding industrial and retail areas incorrectly suggests that the minimising sources of air pollution credits are not applicable to retail areas with no associated offices. These credits do apply to retail sales areas, although they are excluded for operational areas in industrial buildings.
The 'potential for natural ventilation' credit is not applicable for retail sales areas, as it applies only to office areas. Therefore, where a retail building does not contain any office, this credit is not applicable.
Whilst the requirements apply to permanently or semi-permanently occupied offices, small admin areas, which are used only occasionally, can be excluded.
This also applies to shell only and shell and core new build projects, where it can be demonstrated that no office spaces will be provided as part of the fit-out.
The online tool will award the credit by default in both issue 1.0 of the INC 2016 scheme and up to issue 1.4 of the IRFO 2015 scheme. When assessing against INC 2016 2.0, the online tool will instead filter this credit out.
11/09/2018 Clarification added in relation to spaces that are used occasionally, and shell only/shell and core new build projects.
15/09/2017 Clarification added on the procedure for making the 'potential for natural ventilation' credit N/A on the online tool.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next re-issue.
Scope of product assessment for VOCs - KBCN0871
For the purpose of this Issue, this covers any product installed or applied inside of the inner surface of the building’s infiltration, vapour or waterproof membrane or, where not present, inside of the inner surface of the building envelope’s interior facing thermal insulation layer.
Only products that are installed or applied in parts of the building where their emissions are likely to affect indoor air quality need to be assessed.
Thermal comfort – Changing rooms - KBCN1133
Whilst thermal comfort in changing rooms may be considered as significant, such spaces are, generally, outside the scope of this Issue, as they would not fall within the definition of an 'occupied space'.
17/06/2019 - This supersedes the advice previously provided in this KBCN, which was published in error on 13/06/2018
Thermal modelling – full dynamic thermal analysis - KBCN1250
The software used to carry out the thermal modelling simulation at the detailed design stage needs to provide full dynamic analysis. For smaller and more basic building designs with less complex heating/cooling systems, an alternative less complex means of analysis may be appropriate. Further guidance on thermal modelling can be found in CIBSE AM11 Building energy and environmental modelling.
Thermal modelling for large scale projects - KBCN1171
In cases where the scale of the project makes it unfeasible to provide thermal modelling for every space, it is acceptable to demonstrate compliance with a representative sample of floors or rooms, ensuring any worst case scenarios are included.
Thermal modelling for Part 1 assessments - KBCN0944
Where a Shell Only (Part 1) assessment is being carried out, but the future servicing strategy is unknown, the thermal comfort credit is still applicable.
To assess compliance, the upgraded shell of the building shall be modelled with a typical servicing configuration which meets as a minimum:
- UK: Recommended minimum standards in the Non-Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide.
- International: relevant building services minimum standards within local building regulations, or Tables 6.8.1 A-K of ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
The thermal modelling credit can be awarded when the notional modelled system achieves the BREEAM thermal comfort criteria.
The intent is to ensure that thermal comfort is achievable with the proposed upgraded shell for any future occupiers. The details of the notional system could be passed on to future occupiers or servicing specialists to inform their servicing strategy.
Users with special hearing and communication needs - KBCN0969
Criterion 1c aims to ensure that the acoustician has considered designing the building to better meet the acoustic requirements for users with special hearing and communication needs.
The extent and scope this should cover will depend on the building type. The following information, taken from The UK Department for Education ‘Acoustic design of schools: performance standards building bulletin 93' (February 2015) provides clarity as to the type of users typically to be considered:
Users with special hearing or communication needs includes, but are not limited to, people with permanent hearing impairment or with severe or complex needs, including:
- speech, language and communication difficulties
- visual impairments
- fluctuating hearing impairments caused by conductive hearing loss
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- an auditory processing disorder or difficulty
- being on the autistic spectrum
Such users should be considered by the suitably qualified acoustician, along with the other points a-d when giving early design advice regarding room layout, sound insulation and reverberation times etc.
01/03/2019: Amended to clarify that this is a 'typical' list of users, but does not impose a new requirement.
Ventilation – E-cigarettes - KBCN1014
The use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers is considered equivalent to smoking. A smoking ban must also include a ban on e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
Ventilation – Withdrawal of EN 13779:2007 - KBCN1054
Standard EN 13779:2007 has been withdrawn (01/02/2018) and in its place the following should be used:
- To replace EN 13779:2007 Annex A2 for location of the building's air intakes and exhausts - CEN/TR 16798-4:2017 Sections 8.8.1 to 8.8.4
- To replace EN 13779:2007 Annex A3 for filtration in HVAC systems - EN 16798-3:2017 Section B.4.2
- To replace EN 13779:2007 for providing fresh air into the building - ISO 17772-1:2017 Annex I or EN 16798-1:2019 Annex B.3 (using either Category I or Category II default design values)
Both standards provide three methods for selecting design ventilation rates:
- Method 1: Method based on perceived air quality
- Method 2: Method using limit values of substance concentration
- Method 3: Method based on predefined ventilation flow rates
(only applicable to the BREEAM International New Construction scheme): Both standards provide different options for selecting design ventilation rates:
It is the design team’s responsibility to determine and apply the most appropriate method or option(s) for the project undergoing assessment.
- Total air change rate for the dwelling
- Extract air flows for specific rooms
- Supply air flows for specific rooms
- Design opening areas for natural ventilation
Existing projects can continue to use EN 13779:2007 where applicable. Any new assessment registrations should use the replacements above.
2019.09.01 - KBCN updated to reference new standard
2020.01.10 - KBCN updated to clarify methods for complying with new standards
2010.05.03 - Typo corrected to clarify that 'EN 16798-1:2019 Annex B.3 'either Category I OR Category II default design values' are to be used
Ventilation credit – Suitable filtration - KBCN0797
The ventilation rates stated in the ASWL for non-domestic buildings (i.e. 10 l/s/person for non-smoking areas, 20 l/s/person for smoking areas) equate to an EN 13779 indoor air category of IDA2. Therefore, the filter selection needs to be based on IDA2 as a minimum. Annex A.3 of EN 13779 sets out the methodology for determining the filter class required based on the IDA category and the quality of outdoor air (classified ODA1-ODA3 – 3 representing the most polluted air). The classification of outdoor air (ODA) is also detailed in EN 13779.
Ventilation credit for Part 1 assessments - KBCN0974
The Ventilation credit is applicable to Part 1 assessments because there may be instances where the decisions made for the fabric and structure can have an impact on the ventilation strategy.
For example, if a natural ventilation strategy is to be used, the criteria related to ventilation standards and the distance between openable windows and sources of external pollution would be relevant.
View out – applicable areas - KBCN0268
The aim of the View out credit is to allow occupants to refocus their eyes from close work.
The view out criteria are not applicable to occupied areas such as meeting rooms, where typically close work is not undertaken and there are no permanent workstations.
Where rooms contain areas of different functions, only those areas that are applicable should be included in the assessment. In this case a notional line can be drawn on the plans and calculations made based on these applicable areas only.
View out – Corrections to Table - KBCN1136
The values for distance from window to workplace in the View out Table are incorrect. The Table should read as follows:
View out – eye level - KBCN0581
BREEAM defines an adequate view out as being at seated eye level (1.2 – 1.3m) within the relevant building areas. However, where occupants will not have the option to be seated, for example in some industrial operational areas where the work being undertaken requires occupants to remain standing, the height of the view out can be changed accordingly to suit the eye level of occupants. All other view out requirements have to be met and clear justification provided for changing the height/level of the view out.
In some relevant building areas, occupants may not be sitting down to undertake tasks. Allowing the view out height requirements to be changed accordingly ensures building occupants gain maximum benefit from the view out.
View Out – First Aid Rooms - KBCN1104
The view out criteria do not apply to dedicated first aid or medical rooms in non-healthcare projects.
BREEAM recognises the need for user privacy in such areas and that these are intermittently occupied.
View out – internal view within an atrium - KBCN1240
Where the criteria are otherwise met, an internal view across an unobstructed atrium void can be considered compliant.
Internal views are generally not acceptable, however where it is physically impossible to obstruct the view with partitions, equipment or furniture, this can be accepted at the discretion of the assessor.
View out – no relevant areas - KBCN0876
If the scope of the assessment does not include any relevant building areas, as defined within the manual, the criteria for 'view out' can be considered as met by default.
Only spaces that fall within the definition of relevant areas and are within the assessment's scope need to be assessed.
View out – percentage area - KBCN0166
For the view out credit, compliance must be demonstrated for the percentage of the floor area in each relevant building area, rather than the percentage of the total relevant building area in the building.
14/2/17 Wording amended to clarify that the percentage must be achieved for each 'relevant building area'.
View out – rooms used for security or other critical functions - KBCN1040
The View out criteria are not applicable to rooms containing security or critical systems or sensitive material, such as CCTV monitoring rooms.
Where it can be demonstrated that the presence of compliant windows would compromise a critical function of the space, the criteria can be considered not applicable.
View out for commercial kitchens - KBCN1216
It is not necessary to provide a view out for commercial kitchens. This is because in such a space it is likely that kitchen staff will move around, doing various tasks. This makes the requirements for the view out to rest the eyes unnecessary.
VOC emission levels (products) exemplary level criteria - KBCN0636
Where a project has not specified all the product categories of Hea 02, all products that have been specified must meet the testing requirements and emission levels criteria for Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions, as outlined within the relevant table.
VOC emission levels – products with no formaldehyde-containing materials - KBCN1137
Where a product manufacturer’s declaration confirms that a product contains no formaldehyde, this can be used to demonstrate compliance with both the standard and exemplary level criteria.
However, where a manufacturer has made a declaration of formaldehyde class E1 without testing, this can only be used to demonstrate compliance with the standard criteria. An E1 declaration only confirms that emissions of formaldehyde are ≤0.12 mg/m3, so this would not be valid evidence to demonstrate compliance with the exemplary level criteria emission limits. As such, the manufacturer would need to provide additional information (e.g. test report) to show that emissions from the product meet the relevant exemplary level emission limit.
VOC product types – other - KBCN0698
Where a product does not appear to fit into any of the defined VOC product types listed in the manual this does not mean it is automatically exempt from being assessed. If it is similar to one of the listed product types and clearly could have an impact on VOC levels it should normally be assessed.
In such cases the supplier/manufacturer should seek to demonstrate that their product meets the equivalent standards required for the closest matching product type.
VOC testing – alternative methods for compliance for paints and varnishes - KBCN0492
Manufacturers' calculations of VOC content, based on the constituent ingredients, can be used to demonstrate compliance with the testing requirement for paints and varnishes instead of ISO 11890-2:2013.
VOC testing – alternative testing standards for compliance for paints - KBCN1003
For the vast majority of paints, ISO 11890-2 will be the relevant testing standard, as indicated by the technical guidance.
However, where stipulated in the performance standard (EU Directive 2004/42/CE), ASTMD 2369 can be used as the testing standard (ie where reactive diluents are present).
VOCs of Resin flooring products - KBCN0980
For the purposes of assessing the volatile organic compound emission levels of products, BREEAM considers resin flooring products such as epoxy floor coating, to fall within the scope of a ‘resilient floor covering’.
VOCs post-completion testing and KPI - KBCN0380
When testing for VOCs post-completion and pre-occupancy, a representative sample of the building needs to be carried out. Each sample TVOC and formaldehyde measurement needs to achieve the threshold levels individually, either in the initial testing or after remedial measures have been implemented. This ensures that all tested areas of the building are below the limits, and that areas of non-compliance are not ‘averaged out’.
'When providing KPI test results for air quality post-construction / pre-occupancy within scoring and reporting tool, where the limits are exceeded and remediation and re-testing are carried out, the figure should be an average for the whole building post-remediation, as this is the key figure that reflects the building at its certified state'.
Where testing is not a requirement of the IAQ Plan and this is not carried out, the original testing figures should be entered and the assessment report should provide details of the remediation measures undertaken to reduce these to within the prescribed limits.
06/12/17 Amended to account for situations where re-testing is not required by the IAQ Plan.
Weather File Location - KBCN1013
In accordance with the guidance provided in CIBSE AM11, in instances where the weather file for the nearest location does not represent the most appropriate climatic conditions for the actual location, it is permissible to use the weather file from another, nearby location, which more closely matches the climate at the actual location.
This can take account of the climatic influences of height above sea level, a coastal location or other local, climate-moderating features such as mountains, woodland, lakes, prevailing wind direction or urban heat island effect.
Weather files applicable internationally - KBCN0732
Prometheus is currently referred to in the technical manual to demonstrate compliance with the 'Adaptability - for a projected climate change scenario' criteria. Since this is not applicable internationally, until an alternative has been formally approved, the following can be used:
Climate change world weather file generator Version 1.8
Weather files can be found here, or on other national sources.
The instructions are included in the first link.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next reissue.
Zoning and control – dimming - KBCN1018
Localised dimming controls installed in line with the criteria, along with a master on/off switch, can be considered as meeting the aim of the requirement for 'controls' in open plan offices.
The aim is for occupants to have local control over their lighting and maintain comfortable lighting levels.
Zoning and control – PIR in circulation spaces - KBCN0332
PIR controls can be deemed compliant in circulation spaces such as corridors. In this instance 'separate occupant controls' are not required.
The requirement for user control is so that the building users can have direct control over their immediate work environment to ensure it is suitable for their personal needs. In circulation spaces, occupancy is transient and PIR control in these spaces is acceptable.
Zoning and occupant control – access to lighting controls - KBCN00032
In building areas where building users, for example the general public, are not expected to have access to lighting controls, these areas can be excluded from the assessment.
The aim of these criteria is to increase user control of lighting. Where user control is not applicable, such as on a shop floor, the criteria should not be applied.
Zoning and occupant control – control via BMS - KBCN0703
Occupant control via a BMS is not normally considered a compliant BREEAM solution. Any solution that requires the action of a third party (eg facilities manager) is not considered under the control of the occupant. Solutions where all relevant building occupants have control via a user-interface via BMS may be considered compliant where the assessor is satisfied that the aim of the criteria are met.
User-control must be available directly to the occupant.
01/08/2017 - KBCN applicability to Thermal comfort Issue removed.
Zoning and occupant control – PIR detection systems - KBCN0335
The aim of the Health & Wellbeing category is to recognize ways to benefit occupants through giving them control of their lighting environment. Without manual overrides, presence or absence detection lighting controls (such as PIR detection systems) are not compliant with the criteria.
BREEAM recognises the energy efficiency benefits of detection systems in buildings through the Energy category. In some cases, the design team may have to prioritize one particular lighting strategy to the detriment of achieving a credit elsewhere.
Zoning and occupant control – PIR systems - KBCN0335
The aim of the Health & Wellbeing section is to recognise efforts to benefit the future occupants of the building and their user comfort and control. Therefore, without manual over-ride controls, PIR lighting controls are not compliant with the criteria.
BREEAM recognises the energy efficiency benefits of passive infrared sensor (PIR) systems in buildings through the Energy section. Therefore, in some cases it may be necessary for the design team to prioritise one particular lighting strategy to the detriment of achieving a particular credit.
18 09 2017 Wording amended to clarify the meaning.
Zoning and occupant control – whiteboards and display screens - KBCN1433
Whiteboards and display screens in dedicated teaching or presentation spaces require separate zoning and control for lighting, as specified in the criteria.
Lighting around whiteboards and display screens which are typically found in general office areas, meeting rooms, or in other generic spaces do not require separate zoning and control to meet the criteria. In such cases, the assessor should provide justification.
Whiteboards and display screens in dedicated teaching / presentation spaces are likely to be used frequently, and require appropriate zoning and control. An increasing number of offices and meeting rooms now include display screens - however separate zoning and control may not be appropriate.
Zoning and occupant controls – handheld remote controls - KBCN1243
Remote control light switches can be considered as compliant, on the basis that these are provided in sufficient numbers/locations to meet the aim of the criteria.
Information correct as of 18thOctober 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.